Awards honor DUSD's allies

DOWNEY - The first four Superintendent's Vision Awards of 2010 went to a couple of individuals as well as a couple of organizations for their significant impacts on the all-important area of parent/community relations.For Mary Jo Enyeart of West Middle School, the award couldn't have come at a more opportune time. She elected to exercise an early retirement option, along with several other early retirees, and tomorrow is her last day. Enyeart has worked in education since 1979, and has taught at Gallatin Elementary, South Middle School, Price Elementary, Rio Hondo Elementary, and West Middle. In November 2005, she was the first faculty member to undergo Character Counts training, becoming DUSD's chief liaison with the Josephson Institute of Ethics, for which she will long be remembered. Also recognized was Beth Gendreau, who has served as Downey Council PTA president for the past two years. Likewise a member of the Character Counts Coalition, she has during the last several years been actively involved in the PTA affairs at Price Elementary, Griffiths Middle, and Warren High. She thanked the Board, Superintendent Wendy Doty, and her family for their enthusiastic support of her PTA activities. In honoring Downey Federal Credit Union, Doty called attention to the "long and very, very good relationship" the district has enjoyed with DFCU, whose monetary and non-monetary donations/contributions over the years have "actually increased, not diminished." One need only mention its sponsorship of the Student Enrichment Grant program for Downey educators over the past nine years, its support of the TLC Family Resource Center and Character Counts programs and projects, as well as the food drive for Downey PTA H.E.L.P.S., and its financial education workshops for students, to indicate the range and depth of its commitment Last year's DFCU chairman Stan Hanstad accepted the award on behalf of DFCU president and CEO Barbara Lamberth, who was unable to attend. The Downey Family YMCA's award was in recognition of the fact that "they specialize in taking care of our kids especially after school," Doty said. Acting Y executive director Beth Crawford mentioned some of its programs, including child care, swimming lessons, exercise classes, dance, gymnastics, and special programs like Easter Caravan and Camp Whittle. She added that the Y was very involved in the Character Counts Coalition and has been "instrumental in spreading it throughout the city." In other action, the Board: •Accepted with gratitude various cash donations from individuals and institutions, including $10,000 for the upcoming Downey High School jazz choir trip to New York, from Mrs. Helen Hoag; and varying amounts from a good number of contributors all benefiting the TLC (True Lasting Connections) Family Resource Center which is celebrating its 10th year of meritorious service Feb. 26; •Ratified/approved the following district programs/activities/ items: the payment of convention and conference attendance expenses; the payments for special education placements; the purchase orders prepared by the Purchasing Department; the issuance of payroll orders for hourly, overtime, and Civic Center work performed by classified personnel, Adult School and Food Services; B warrants (Nos.17670465-17728786); the FY 2009-10 general agreement with Autism Behavior Consultants (to provide special education and/or related services to students with special needs, the professional services agreement with Miller Brown & Dannis for legal services, effective Dec.17, 2009-Dec. 31, 2010; the agreement with Aspiranet to provide a certified application assistant (CAA) to enroll children into a statewide health insurance program, as well as provide a student counseling program to each elementary school in the district and the TLC Family Resource; the agreement with the Office of Administrative Hearings for use of its services; and the agreements entered into by Downey Adult School with various clinics/medical groups to furnish practical experience to students enrolled in its Medical Assistant, Medical Billing & Coding, and Pharmacy Technician programs, as well as the amendment to the agreement with the city of Hawthorne increasing adult school program fees to eligible referral participants; the Memorandum of Understanding with Point Loma Nazarene University for the delivery of post-baccalaureate PNLU Partnership Programs, including the pupil personnel services credential and the master of arts in education with concentrations in special education, teaching and learning, educational leadership, counseling, and pre-student teaching field experience/clinical practice; the application for E-rate funding certifying the district's agreement to comply with all program requirements including local share of funding should the district proceed through the full application process for a range of telecommunications services; the advertisement for bid for trade labor-painters in the estimated annual amount of $200,000 to be funded by the General Fund, Maintenance Fund, and/or Bond Fund, as appropriate; the change order with P.W. Construction, Inc. of Glendora for the Downey High School modernization of Bldgs. J/K/N & L; the destruction of Class 1, 2, and 3 disposable district records and the appointment of Katrina Juarez-Lorenzetti, Records clerical assistant, as document destruction coordinator; routine Personnel items until subsequent action is taken by the Board of Education; the recommended changes to positions in Financial Services (abolishment of one Accounting Assistant positions and two vacant Intermediate Accounting Assistant positions, and the establishment of two positions with duties corresponding to the current classification of Senor Accounting Assistant, effective Jan. 20, 2010); the changes in positions providing support services for students with special needs, henceforth to be classified as Senior Instructional Assistant; the changes in the duties of Intermediate Clerical Assistant to better reflect the true nature of its job description; and the Memorandum of Understanding with Downey Education Association (DEA) regarding teacher transfer requests; •Accepted as complete the electrical, roofing, fencing, backhoe, paving, and concrete work performed by various contractors; •The district's initial bargaining proposals for negotiations with Downey Education Association/CTA/NEA regarding hours of employment, class size, suspension procedures, transfers, leaves of absence, summer school teaching, fringe benefits, etc., were opened to a public hearing and then, there being no discussion, was closed; as well, a public hearing to hear the initial bargaining proposals from Downey Education Association/CTA/NEA (re grievance procedure, hours of employment, faculty liaison committees, class size, suspension, procedures for reporting suspected child abuse, salary provisions, etc.) was opened and closed soon thereafter, there being no discussion; and •Endorsed the actions taken by the superintendent on all student cases, which were considered in closed session. The next regular public meeting of the board will be at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at the Gallegos Administration Center, 11627 Brookshire Ave.

********** Published: January 22, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 40

NewsEric Pierce